County councils say they cannot meet bed-blocking targets

Owl bangs on: Closing Seaton and Honiton hospital beds was NOT about patient care it was simply about THIS. And no use whinging Devonians – if you voted Conservative (and you did in sufficient numbers to ensure a majority on EDDC and DCC) this IS what you voted for and the buck does stop with YOU as much as them – and if you keep voting them in, it will get even worse:

“County council leaders have written to health secretary Jeremy Hunt asking him to reconsider proposals to withhold social care funding if bed-blocking targets are not met.

Under new guidance produced by the Department of Health last week, county authorities would have to reduce delayed discharges from hospitals by an average by 43% within the next few months – double the target of London.

Herefordshire has a target of a 69% reduction whilst Suffolk has a target of 67%, which county leaders have called “undeliverable” and “arbitrary”.

Colin Noble, County Councils Network health and social care spokesman, described the targets as a “backwards step” and said the resulting lack of funding would push services to breaking point.

“It is perverse that this money – designed to ease pressures – could be taken away if we cannot hit virtually undeliverable and arbitrary targets within a very short time period,” he said.

Noble highlighted that counties are the least well funded councils for social care and urged the government to draw up a sustainable solution not a “double whammy” of underfunding and the prospect of funds being withdrawn.

The CCN notes that the problem facing rural councils is even more acute because they contain the fastest growing elderly populations yet are the worst funded councils for social care.

In total, the 37 county authorities receive £2bn less funding for health and social care than other parts of the country, according to the network.

The CCN argues that there is no quick fix to the issue of delayed discharges and only one third of them nationally are attributable to social care.

Noble called on the government to develop long-lasting reform to social care that makes the system work better. He said counties, which spend 47% of the nation’s total expenditure on social care, want to work with the government to better integrate services.

However, the network argues the social care funding crisis will only be solved if funding discrepancies between rural and urban councils are resolved in tandem with a long-term sustainable funding settlement for all councils.

A Department for Communities and Local Government spokesman said: “No one should stay in hospital longer than necessary. It puts unneeded pressure on our hospitals and wastes taxpayers’ money.”

One thought on “County councils say they cannot meet bed-blocking targets

  1. Even if we didn’t know which party was in power, we could guess it from the “kick them whilst they are down” approach.

    We are used to seeing this when it comes to kicking the least well off people in our society, making swingeing cuts to benefits and social care, and putting in place inflexible disability assessments where Atos was incentivised to find against continuing disability benefits, regardless of personal circumstances, and regardless of the consequences to individuals. Uncaring, uncompassionate, cruel, nasty…

    So when we see the same uncaring, inconsiderate approach being taken with local councils who have been put between a rock and a hard place already, and are now being threatened in what can only be described as a bullying style, we can probably guess that it is the same Nasty Party who are doing it.

    Conservative voters need to wake up and smell the stench of a party which is rotten and undemocratic to its very core – and to recognise that if they are not in the richest 1% of the UK (whose incomes have trebled under Conservative governments since 1979 – and which most Tory voters aren’t) they will also be worse off under the Conservatives.

    P.S. In the interests of transparency, I should disclose that before 2010 I used to be a lifelong Conservative voter. So the current disaster happening to the UK is in small part my fault. Mea culpa.


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